Background of the Study
The rapidly increasing population of elderly all over the world has been one of the important concerns of the decision makers and planners on how to provide health care and facilities. Statistics shows that population of elderly accounts for one individual of the ten persons is now at age 60 years old and above. It is projected that in the year 2015, there will be an increasing rate of elderly population such that there will be five out of 10 persons considered as senior citizens. In the Philippines, there is an estimated 5.2 million elderly Filipinos or about 6.4% of the total 80 million populations. This is projected to grow by 9.5% in the year 2020.
Despite of the life expectancy and the facilities on medical and social systems provide to elderly, the vital question is “What are their situations and experiences at elderly stage?” Are they experiencing uncomfortable situations such as loneliness, depression, social isolation or controversial quality of life? In some Asian countries like the Philippines culture dictates that the family must take care of their elders. But some arousing circumstances like when both couples of a family must work so that there is no one to take care of them or when poverty cripples the financial status of the family. These circumstances will leave an option but to put their elders in an institution. The connotation that putting them in an institution might divulge some questions such as will the elders be lonely when they are in an institution or will they be happy thinking that they will never be a burden for their family.? Will their loneliness affect the quality of life that they have in the institution? How the Filipino family may adjust when their elders are in the institution and as they are facing the idea of ingratitude to their loved one. According to some research studies, it was postulated that the quality of life is not homogenous, but multidimensional in nature with many option extending from health indications to individual habits, cultures and ethics. Loneliness has a psychological dimension which reflects somebody’s attitude and behaviour about his life. Elderly often expresses negative feelings and loneliness because of the ageing process and social strength that influence their quality of life. In this reasons, loneliness could be a one important parameter or indicators that affect the quality of life or vice versa, particularly the elders’ society.
Psychosocial Theory. Erik Erikson (1950) who took a special interest in the final stage of life, concluded that the primary psychosocial task of late adulthood (65 and beyond) is to maintain ego integrity (holding in to one’s sense of wholeness) while avoiding despair (fearing there is too little time to begin a new life course). According to the author, those who succeed at this final task also develop wisdom that includes accepting without any regrets of life and has to live until the end of last breath (death). He emphasized that even older adults who are above in the high degree of integrity can felt some despair at this stage which they contemplate their past experiences.
Interactionist Theory. Weiss (1978) mentioned there are two elements of loneliness. One aspect is the emotional loneliness due to the absence of an attachment figure; and the other one is the social loneliness or the absence of an acceptable social network.
Register Theory of Generative Quality of Life for the Elderly. According to M. Elizabeth Register and JoAnne Herman (2006), the quality of life is defined as being connected with the forces and processes that constitute an assenting existence. The elderly generate quality of life as they experience connectedness in which is a state of synchronous, harmonious, and interactive presence with the six interrelated forces and processes. It involved the act of being metaphysically connected to...
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